Indiana GOP Congresswoman Jackie Walorski killed in car crash

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., was killed in a Wednesday car crash in Elkhart County, Ind.
U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., was killed in a Wednesday car crash in Elkhart County, Ind.

Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., was killed Wednesday in a car crash in her home state of Indiana.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy shared a statement on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon from Walorski’s office confirming her death in Elkhart County in northern Indiana.

The statement said Walorski’s husband, Dean Swihart, learned of her death from the Elkhart County Sheriff’s office. The Elkhart County Sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to a USA TODAY request for comment.

Emma Thomson, a member of Walorski’s staff, and Zach Potts, chairman of the St. Joseph County Republican Party, also were killed in the crash, according to the South Bend Tribune. The newspaper reported that Walorski’s vehicle was traveling on a state route in Elkhart County when a car traveling the opposite direction crossed the center line, colliding head-on with the vehicle.

Walorski, 58, was born in South Bend, Ind., and was first elected to Congress in 2012. Before she was elected to Congress, Walorski served three terms in the Indiana Statehouse, worked as a missionary in Romania and spent time as a television news reporter and development director in higher education.

News of Walorski’s death prompted an outpouring from congressional colleagues and others in Washington on both sides of the aisle. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered the flags at the U.S. Capitol to be flown at half-staff to honor Walorski.

Former Vice President Mike Pence, an Indiana native, said he was “heartbroken” over the loss of a “truly inspiring Indiana leader.”

“She served Indiana in the Statehouse and the Congress with integrity and principle for nearly two decades and will be deeply missed,” Pence tweeted.

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